Pavement and road problems
Please tell us if you have found a problem relating to roads or pavements or to verges or central reservations. Examples include potholes, trip hazards, raised or broken manhole or utility covers, missing or broken kerb stones.
Whilst we carry out regular inspections of roads in Birmingham for which we are responsible, we know that potholes and highway defects may arise between these inspections, particularly in late winter and early spring when the road network has been subjected to freezing conditions.
Information required when reporting a pothole/surface defect
Key information required is:
Location - Please provide as much detail as possible to identify the location of the pothole. Reports of a general nature regarding the network condition will be investigated, however for specific reports about a potential hazard please try to pinpoint the location as close as possible on the map contained within the reporting form.
Please also include:
- road names;
- name of the junction or road, and other easily identifiable landmarks; school, shops, Public Building or Hospital or at a pedestrian crossing.
- identifying features on the road such as a property address or lamp column number that the pothole appears outside; and
Description of the pothole/defect - Please provide as much detail as possible and include:
- estimated size of the pothole/defect including the width, length, depth; height, do not place yourself in any danger by trying to accurately measure a defect on the road or pavement and
- location in the road surface (at the edge, in the middle etc) and on main roads if the defect is In to city or Out of city, North or South bound
Your contact details - In case we need to contact you for more details, we ask that you provide us with your contact details.
Please ensure you do not put yourself or anyone else in danger when obtaining details about the fault.
The above information is very helpful as this will help us prioritise the enquiry and also enable us to provide a more efficient response.
You can report any of the following defects:
- broken or dislodged
- level of the cover is raised in the footway
We will assess the cover and arrange remedial work as appropriate. If the manhole is owned by a Utility Company we will request that the Utility Company fix the problem under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (NRSWA).
A trench is a deliberate excavation in the road or pavement, The New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (NRSWA), supported by relevant Regulations and Codes of Practice, provides a legislative framework for street works by undertakers (including utility companies) and works for road purposes – to the extent that these must be co-ordinated by street authorities. The aim is to balance the statutory rights of highway authorities and undertakers to carry out works with the right of road users to expect the minimum disruption from works.
Reporting footpath or pavement defects or other problems
Pavements will deteriorate quicker in heavily-used pedestrian areas and where there is a need for utility companies to lay and maintain their equipment and where vehicles have driven over the footway. When a problem is reported to us, we will inspect, assess and repair where necessary or notify the relevant third-party.
Pavements that are cracked or unsightly pavements are not normally classed as dangerous. Minor repairs such as raised slabs and block paving are repaired throughout the year within an appropriate timescale.
Trip hazards and other defects on pavements are a key concern at all times, reporting defects of a general nature about the network condition will be investigated however it is important to be as precise as possible as regards the location, type of surfacing and the nature of the defect. This will enable the problem to be dealt with as efficiently as possible. Pavements, particularly those constructed of paving slabs, can suffer very badly from overriding vehicles.
You can report any of the following:
- uneven paving
- loose paving slabs or pavement surfaces
- broken slabs or pavement holes
- missing/loose paving slabs or kerbs
- pavement trip hazards or pot holes
- stolen pavement materials
- missing/loose Manhole or Utility Cover
- damage to grass verges.
How you can help us
- Notifying us of problems/defects - use our online reporting system
- Keeping trees and hedges trimmed to avoid overhanging the Highway.
- Reporting any damage, vandalism or theft.
- Not damaging footways or verges by parking on them.
- Not obstructing footways or using flyposting with commercial displays.
Birmingham City Council is constantly improving the quality of information we provide to the emergency services, media and members of the public and the Roadworks map provided by Elgin delivers real-time access to local roadworks information from the majority of the 175 local highway authorities of England and Wales.
Out of Hours
If you consider any fault you are reporting to be causing a serious hazard to traffic or pedestrians and is in need of urgent attention, please telephone 0121 303 4149 (Mon - Fri (5:00pm - 9:00am) and weekends).
Millions of people use the city’s highways and road networks every day, whether they are motorists or pedestrians. Our Highways Service is committed to providing a consistently high level of service and routinely undertakes inspections to make sure the roads, footways, bridges and street lights across the city are safe for all.
Sometimes, problems occur and we will do our utmost to fix them.
If you report a dangerous pothole or other defect, we promise to:
- Make it safe within one hour
- Carry out a temporary repair within 24 hours
- Fully repair it within 28 days.
If other potholes are reported, we will:
- Inspect them within 14 days
- Arrange its repair in our programme of works.
Well maintained highways
The highway network is a most highly valued physical asset, both in financial and community terms, for which public authorities are responsible. Effective stewardship and asset management is crucially important, both to users and the community. Authorities are recommended to adopt the principles of the Code of Practice for Highway Maintenance Management, to adapt them as necessary based on consideration of local circumstances, and apply them consistently.
We undertake all our highway works and inspections in accordance to national standards and this sets strict safety criteria to ensure that all public footways and carriageways are safe for public use.
This criteria is based on a safety matrix, whereby any urgent defects are rectified within one hour of us being notified and all other defects are repaired using varying timescales this, dependent upon the severity of the defect, Repairs are carried out in accordance with our service standards. Emergency defects (e.g. where the pothole is of a size and location to put both the probability and impact of an accident as very high) should be attended within one hour. At that initial visit, the site will be made safe either with barriers or a temporary repair. Other potholes are added to the list of works and an Enquiry Inspector will visit site and use the risk matrix to determine the category of the defect.